The Unglamorous Side Of War Depicted In Remarque's All Quiet On The Western Front

888 words - 4 pages

Why does the world need to kill two million men just because two countries can’t agree with each other? War is devastating to countries and most indefinitely to individuals and soldiers. A war can ruin families, friendships, education, economy, and the minds of innocent people. Most young men, who were just approaching manhood, were pulled of their innocence of childhood, and thrown into a world of rage and destruction. Soldiers that luckily survive a horrific war often find their lives turned completely upside down since they enlisted, and sometimes it is just impossible to forget the vicious past and start over again as a civilian. Many older men believe that wars being fought are wars of dignity and glory, but truthfully, wars are battles of death and gore. The novel All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque expresses dramatically the negative effects of war.
One idea that Remarque uses to de-glamorize the magnificence of war is that in a war, many innocent people die needlessly. In the novel, Paul Baumer, the main character and narrator, states that the war is not fun and heroic at all, but horrific and gruesome. “While [teachers] taught that duty to one’s country is the greatest thing, we already knew that death-throes are stronger.” (Remarque 13) Wars just kill innocent, youthful men and bring nothing but trouble for the country. Men who led their own pleasant life before the war and held nothing against the enemy, died mercilessly just because Chance was not on their side at that particular moment. Franz Kemmerich, a close friend of Paul, has his foot amputated, and pretty soon afterwards, he dies because of an infection in the leg without the foot. Before joining the war, Kemmerich was an ordinary teenage boy, but the pitiless war killed him, just like it killed thousands of other men. Franz’s life was over before he could even start a decent life for himself.
Another point that the author creates about the negative aspects of war is that there is never an abundant supply of food to support the well-being of all the men out there in the war. In the novel, the men who were used to eating decent meals every day before the war face severe hardships because in the army, they do not receive opulent nor tasty rations. “Long time since you’ve had anything decent to eat, eh?” Kat asks one of the [new recruits]. “For breakfast, turnip-bread, ㅡlunch, turnip-stew……it’s nothing new for it to be made of sawdust.” (Remarque 36) If...

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